Home | News    Wednesday 20 July 2011

Jonglei and Unity state’s calls for utility of new South Sudan currency

By Ngor Arol Garang & Bonifacio Taban Kuich

July19 2011 (JUBA) - Kuol Manyang Juuk, Governor of Jonglei State on Tuesday called for South Sudanese to quickly adopt the independent country’s new currency, which was released on Monday.

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A file photo shows notes of the new South Sudan pound, which pictures the late South Sudanese independence leader John Garang, in Juba on July 18, 2011. (Getty)

The new currency which carries the portrait of the former leader of the rebels that led South Sudan’s 21 year conflict with North Sudan, John Garang, is now the legal tender in the world’s 193rd country.

The new bank notes were unveiled on Monday 18, by the former branch office of Central Bank of Sudan which became the Central Bank of the new Republic of South Sudan after it officially became an independent state on July 9.

“This is a great achievement within few days of independence. It took some countries including our neighboring countries of Uganda and Kenya for example, time to introduce new currency when they got their independence”, said Juuk.

He pledged necessary assistance to bank authorities in collecting the old notes from the public in his state and called for the new notes to be used.

“This money is now the official currency for use in any transaction. It can be used to buy goods and payments. The old note should now be surrendered to the bank within the time frame”, explained governor Juuk.

He commended presence of portrait of late John Garang in the new note as honor of the contribution he made in the liberation struggle for the people of South Sudan.

“The printing of this currency with the image of late leader, Dr. John Garang reflects both dignity and respect for our martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the years of our liberation struggle for peace and justice”.

The senior member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) said the 2005 peace deal which they signed with government in Khartoum to end the decades of civil war was not a gift from anybody but a result of the sacrifices he said were made by the people of South Sudan.

“The CPA which brought us this independence was not a gift from anybody. It was a peace that Khartoum accepted to sign because it realised that we were gaining momentum and growing rapidly against their existence. So it came as a result of the sacrifices made by our people”, he explained.

“All these you see us do today much of it is attributed to late John Garang, so putting his image in our currency is one of the ways to honor his contribution”, said the senior member of the former rebel movement turned ruling political party.

“We have to honour him just like the other countries like the United States have done to founding leaders of their nations. The dollars which you see being used worldwide carries the portrait of George Washington. George Washington was the first American President who contributed to the liberation of America from former colonial power”, explained Juuk.

Garang Diing Akuong, a caretaker minister of energy and mining in the government of South Sudan also commended the launch of the new currency calling on citizens to use the new currency.

Akuong also congratulated president of South Sudan on the independence of the new country and patience he exhibited during what he described as “critical period” of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

“Had it not been the patience our president exhibited during critical period, especially during the implementations of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, there would have been no independence and certainly the launching of this new currency”, said minister Akuong.

He called on citizens and all political leaders to give their support to the president of the new state in order to complete the mission of his party, the SPLM.

There are concerns that the new notes do not have the date of when they are printed on them.

Unity State

Authorities in Unity State gathered Tuesday to discuss the policy to be use by private banking institutions on the conversion of old Sudan Pounds to the new South Sudanese Pound.

The deputy governor of Unity State William Dawut Riak and state Minister of Finance Thomas Jal Kume briefed Kenya Commercial Bank and Ivory Bank of Bentiu branches in Bentiu on the two month period to exchange all Sudanese Pounds into the new currency.

Kume said, tomorrow Wednesday a group of representatives from the Central Bank of South Sudan would be coming to state, he said this while talking with Sudan Tribune after a successfully meeting with KCB and Ivory Bank managers.

Unity’s finance minister: “We had a meeting on Tuesday with deputy governor and the banks managers of Bentiu town, because we have learned on Monday that the new currencies has been launch in South Sudan and which are supposed to come here Wednesday”.

He added that employees of the Central Banks of South Sudan, will travel to Unity State to bring the new currency and supervise exchanging the currencies.

Kume, added that it would be very difficult for citizens based in Unity State nine counties especially remote counties with poor road networks such as Mayom, Leer and Parieng County. He suggested that local citizens quickly change their money to ensure it does not become worthless.

North Sudan is also planning on introducing a new currency to replace the Sudanese Pound, which was demanded by the SPLM in the 2005 peace deal that ended decades of conflict and granted South Sudan self-determination.

Many more civilians in Unity State never see the new currency since it has been launched yesterday in South Sudan capital Juba.

On Tuesday morning the bank managers of Kenya Commercial Bank and the
Ivory Bank told state local authorities if individuals want to change more than 10,000 Sudan Pounds customers are advised to open a bank account in order facilitate the transaction.